Hellboy (2019)

Director: Neil Marshall

Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Thomas Haden Church

Screenplay: Andrew Cosby

120 mins. Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.

 

So when it was announced that the next Hellboy film would not be a follow-up to the tremendous first two films with Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman, I was initially upset, but I let it pass because it seemed like there was nothing that could be done about it. I got more excited about the prospect of a reboot when David Harbour (Revolutionary Road, TV’s Stranger Things) was cast as the new Hellboy and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Tales of Halloween) would be directing. It all seemed like it was coming together rather nicely, and I even liked the vibe of the trailers. It appeared that everything was going to come out all right for this new iteration of Hellboy. Then, I saw it.

Back during the Dark Ages, the evil Blood Queen Vivian Nimue (Milla Jovovich, The Fifth Element, Future World) unleashed a plague of death and destruction until she was stopped, dismembered, and buried by King Arthur and his knights. Now, in present day, the Baba Yaga is attempting to bring Nimue back to life. It’s up to the B.P.R.D. and its demonic agent, Hellboy, to stop Nimue once and for all. But what if Hellboy is exactly what the Blood Queen wants?

Hellboy is, at times, almost nonsensical. There’s a lot of mythology and story jammed into this movie, and just about none of it is entertaining at all. Characters do things to drive the plot without any real reason for any of it. They just do things. Things just happen. Characters provide exposition that drags on and on. What angers me the most is that the film is bad and forgettable and oh so boring. It’s disappointing because this is what we got instead of a true sequel to a good franchise. I know I don’t like to compare films to each other, but this was such a major step down from what fans wanted.

On the plus side, I liked David Harbour’s work as Hellboy. He plays him very differently than I expected, with Hellboy having an existential crisis about his place in the world, and for that part, he works quite well. His Hellboy is one struggling to find good within his inherently evil framework. It’s a sad and solitary journey. I also thought Jovovich did a good job as the Blood Queen, but her character is written so one-note that it’s hard to find anything identifiable with her villainous persona outside of I’M A VILLAIN AND I DO VILLAIN THINGS.

It’s obvious that screenwriter Andrew Cosby is most well-known for TV’s Eureka because this feels like a pilot to a series instead of a full beginning-middle-end movie. Everything in the film is a setup for what comes next. Hell, I wrote in my social media review that the post-credits scenes are better than the move that preceded them. The film ends on a note that says “Won’t the sequel be fun, right?” instead of just giving that film here. Del Toro did a great job setting up the Hellboy origin story in his films, and Marshall’s film runs through it pretty quick, so we don’t need all this setup for a better sequel we will likely not see.

Hellboy’s production was littered with rumors of behind-the-scenes problems, so it’s no surprise the film is littered with story-problems and pacing issues. I can’t believe how bored I was with this movie. I thought if there was one positive I would leave the theater with, it would at least be a fun movie. It was not a fun movie. Leave this one dead and buried and get me Guillermo del Toro.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of the anthology film Tales of Halloween, click here.

[31 Days of Horror: The Final Chapter] Day 4 – Tales of Halloween (2015)

 

Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Hasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet

Cast: Adrienne Barbeau Grace Phipps, Lin Shaye, Booboo Stewart, Caroline Williams, Barbara Crampton, Greg Grunberg

Screenplay: Axelle Carolyn, Dave Parker, Clint Sears, Greg Commons, Lucky McKee, Molly Millions, John Skipp, Andrew Kasch, Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, Neil Marshall

92 mins. Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use.

 

Okay, not a ton of time tonight so I will make it quick. Go to Netflix and watch Tales of Halloween. I’m not suggesting it because it’s perfect, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.

Tales of Halloween is an anthology of ten shorts all centered around the same town on Halloween night. Characters intersect occasionally throughout, and a lot of people are watching Night of the Living Dead. The tone is mostly horror comedy but each short feels all its own while still belonging to the collection. There are tremendously talented people both in front of and behind the camera, like directors Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Abattoir) and Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion).

I won’t get into what each short’s plot is, it is far more fun to see it all, but they are mostly independent while still serving a larger mythos, primarily aided by a Radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau, The Fog, Beyond the Edge) and other elements. Most anthologies live by the “not-all-of-them-will-be-good syndrome” which is also true to this one, but unlike other anthologies, these pieces are less than ten minutes, so if you don’t like one, it doesn’t take away from the experience. The one unholy flaw of this film is the awful animated credits piece which feels ripped out of Creepshow III. The opening introduces the titles of each tale and its director, but I would have rather seen that before each piece begins in order to separate them more.

Tales of Halloween is imperfect, but dammit I enjoyed myself. There is a lot to love here (and a little to despise) but all well-attempted nonetheless. Check this one out as it will still likely be on Netflix.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Devil’s Carnival, click here.

For my review of Lucky McKee’s The Woman, click here.

For my review of Mike Mendez’s Big Ass Spider!, click here.

Ed Skrein Joins Hellboy Reboot

Hey everyone,

Just a little news to report today as Ed Skrein from Deadpool (and also the first iteration of Dario from Game of Thrones) has joined the cast of the Hellboy reboot. The film, directed by Neil Marshall, has already assembled a pretty stellar cast in Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, and David K. Harbour. Skrein will play Major Ben Daimio, a fan favorite character introduced thirteen years ago when the first Hellboy film was coming together. Daimio has never been put to film.

I didn’t read a lot of the B.P.R.D. and Hellboy comics but it appears that Daimio is a soldier who was killed but brought back to life as a were-jaguar. In any other character breakdown, that might be strange, but it seems par for the course here. It sounds like Daimio is an Asian-American, though, so I worry about cries of whitewashing hurting this casting.

I personally believe an actor should play a role because he can perform it, but I also think this possible controversy is going to hurt the film. I love Skrein in Deadpool even though I felt he was miscast in Game of Thrones and was happy he left the project.

All in all, I’m starting to get excited for Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, even though I’m very sad to see Guillermo del Toro’s vision for a Hellboy III completely disappear because of it. I get it, it was probably never going to happen, but it still breaks my heart. However, the reboot is chugging along rather nicely, and as more of the pieces fall into place, I’m finding myself more and more interesting in how this whole thing will come together, and Skrein is a definite win for the film.

What do you think? Are you excited for Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen? Do you like the addition of Ed Skrein to the cast? If not, who would you put in the role of Ben Daimio? Let me know/drop a comment below!

Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is aiming for a 2018 release date.

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑